I’ve been following (okay, bingeing) The Great British Baking Show and all I want to be is: 1. a great baker. 2. Mary Berry. 3. British. (Since all of these are tall orders, I’ll settle for #1 which is somewhat achievable.) For those who love to bake, or if you’re like me — a novice baker, you can create perfect sweet and savory bakes — just like the pros. Guaranteed. Why? Because if I can do it, anyone can.
As many of you know: I like things simple and direct. I love homemade applesauce, but I don’t want to stand there and peel 3 pounds of apples, so I created an easy way to make it — no peeling — and it’s perfection. Same thing goes for baking. I wanted to create fantastic sweet and savory appetizers and desserts for my friends. Here’s one I ‘m rather proud of:
All of this began when I wanted to recreate one of the bakes I saw on the program, and frankly, I don’t have the patience or skill to stand there and cut out 36 perfectly-shaped anything. While I hadn’t attempted this before, with the hopes of becoming “Star Baker” in my own kitchen, I was going to attempt one of the “puddings” from the show. It was a chocolate thing concocted by the very tan Paul Hollywood, and it oozed out lava-like chocolate from its center. I prepared the recipe and fired up the oven and well, let’s just say, they came out awful. They were dry and they shriveled up and they were just wrong. Next, I tried some savories and a variety of other bakes, and after various failed attempts, basically, I needed to repaint the kitchen.
One afternoon a week later, I was filling up my ice cube trays — the ones with lids as I hate when water spills all over when the door knocks my arm as I’m adding the trays. In any case, due to my recent bake-off mishap, I was still finding flour and chocolate everywhere which, of course reminded me of my recent “baking adventure.”
CUT TO: MY LIGHT-BULB MOMENT
As I’m putting away my ice cube trays, I remember silicone is a great baking vessel. Especially in the Instant Pot. Then I realized, not only do these particular trays fit perfectly in the Instant Pot — they stack. Because they have lids built-in.
With that, I am pleased to share my discovery:
3 Shapes of Bakes: a Sphere, a Cube, and a Shot Glass.
Each shape lends itself to the most delicious — sweet or savory — bites you can imagine and easily create. Because of their sizes, they make great appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, and of course, desserts. Best part? They’re the ultimate “single serves” for those counting calories.
They’re the perfect bite made in the Instant Pot — in no time:
Let’s start with spheres: I’m not talking about putting 2 halves together or trying to form a perfect cake ball with your hands from a huge cake — I’m talking about a perfect sphere that’s bigger than an average-size cake pop or golf ball. Our spheres are 1.75″ in diameter (a golf ball is 1.68″) and each sphere is a 1.5 ounce bite.
Cubes are better than squares because they have the height you want — and you don’t have to stand there with a ruler and try to cut them out individually from a tray bake. I feel your pain. Been there. Considered that. Not happening.
Each cube is a 3 oz bite and is 1.75″ in height. And here’s the best part: 1. They have beautiful, refined, beveled edges. 2. They can be filled with whatever you want.
Here are my “Hot Chocolate Brownie Ice Cubes” filled with salted caramel… which oozes out. Paul Hollywood… are you reading?!
And last but not least: Shot Glasses.
Yep… you can create a perfect shot glass and fill them with anything you want. I love making eggs in the Instant Pot and here is my egg shot glass filled with creme fraiche and salmon.
So, there you have it. Now you can make perfect shapes and sizes and simply WOW your friends and family at the holidays, parties, or just because you want to serve yourself a special bite.
I also wanted to make sure these would be perfect every time so you don’t have to experiment with cooking times and pressure settings, or repaint your kitchen. This took a lot of time and effort to get it right and each recipe was also tested by the wonderful Cordon Bleu chef, Deborah Rainford Thompson — who happens to be British. Watch your back, Paul Hollywood!
You can use the silicone molds in the oven, but the recipes I’m sharing are created for the Instant Pot (or you can use any brand pressure cooker.) What makes these recipes so easy is they are also fast: basically, everything can be cooked in under 15 minutes.
That said, the bottom line: if I can do it — anyone can. It just takes the right tools, a perfect, easy recipe — and the desire to be Star Baker.
Are you ready?
On your marks, get set, BAKE!
To order, get the molds and original recipes HERE. Free Shipping on the set of 3.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need one. There are several options, and all of the IP’s are great, but these are the ones I’ve used and are listed below. (I have the Mini 3 quart which I bought initially and use it to make side dishes while I use my 6-quart Duo60 for larger meals.)
Don’t forget to send your guests home with leftovers in the new storage containers that can be personalized. As my mother, Bernice would say: “you made, who else’s name should be on the label?” So, check out the new Make It & Take It Containers created especially for you — the home chef and Instant Pot lover. Proudly Made in the USA, dishwasher safe, they’re perfect gifts for everyone… including yourself.
Serve up your bakes and appetizers on SlatePlates. Made in Italy, forget the “fancy” paper plates or boring plastic. These trays are reusable or disposable and the sophisticated way to present your culinary creations. Available in 4 sizes and 2 colors: Pearl White and Slate Gray in sets of 6 or choose our assorted Party Packs. They also have a lip so they’re easy to pick up. Si, Grazie!
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